How did the Gulag affect Russia during WWII?
As the stench of death and decay lingered in the air, an innocent peasant trudged through Siberia’s frozen mud with his primitive stone pickaxe to begin his fourteen-hour workday full of arduous labor and torturous conditions. However, this was neither the late-medieval Little Ice Age nor an exaggerated fictional scene--this was Soviet Russia’s very own Gulag. The infamous Gulag was an extensive system of prison camps that existed to provide the Motherland with an inexpensive and effective labor force through insanely harsh treatment; innocent people were sent to the camps to work onerous jobs without rest or nutrition. When the Soviet Union made the decision to enter World War II, Stalin directed his attention toward the…show more content… Through the Gulag’s provision of an inhumane but cheap labor source and its indiscriminate incarceration of innocent politicians and civilians alike, not to mention the accompanying rational fear of being sent to one of the harshest prisons in the world, the Gulag was one of the…show more content… Not only was the Gulag able to successfully turn out income as a result of not properly caring for prisoners and forcing them to be as productive as possible, but its criminally high incrimination rates of various types of people also fueled the massive system. Using both of these inhumane factors allowed the Gulag to capitalize on the fear it caused politicians and citizens alike and it both stabilized Russia and helped rid it of crime. Paradoxically, the Gulag both organized and terrorized Russia throughout World War II, and it is hard to say how the outcome of the war would have been without the inhumane practices of the